Report: Apple Orders 12 Petabytes of Video-Download Storage

| Rumor

Apple has ordered as much as 12 Petabytes (12PB) of storage from Isilion Systems, a company that specializes in scaled storage. For context, a Petabyte is 1,024 Terabytes, and a report from StorageNewsletter.com said that Apple will be using all of that capacity to manage video downloads relating to iTunes.

The report cited unnamed sources at EMC, the parent company of Isilion, and vaguely tied the purchase to a new line of storage hardware and software products from Isilion set to be announced April 11th (IBM reportedly spilled the beans on that new product line, which uses technology from IBM subsidiary Tivoli). The StorageNewsletter report said that the purchase “probably” makes Apple Isilion’s biggest customer.

12PB is a lot of data capacity, and if the report is accurate, it will likely be used in Apple’s new data center in North Carolina. There has been much, more, various, sundry, and even a plethora of speculation on what Apple plans to do with this data center, with a lot of that speculation centered around iTunes, both for music and video delivery, storage, and streaming, digital lockers, and all other manner of activities and services.

This rumor doesn’t give us any specific answers, but it does definitively indicate that Apple is planning something it takes seriously, and makes us giddy with anticipation.

A tiny fraction of 12PB

A tiny fraction of 12PB

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Comments

akcarver

12 PB is 13,510,798,882,111,490 bytes. That’s 13 quadrillion bytes. 1024*1024*1024*1024*1024*12, or 12,000 1 TB drives. To give you some comparison, the digital copy of Back to the Future takes up 1,766,662,878 bytes for a very nearly 2 hour movie. Apple could store approximately 7,647,638 movies in that space. Beats DirecTV’s on demand levels, I would think.

(edited to confirm math)

BS

I lost my megabyte floppy, again. Wait, no place to stick it..

BurmaYank

if that 12PB comprised 6000 2TB drives, how many racks would be needed to hold them all?

I’d guess the floorspace needed for all those racks would constitute only a very tiny or even miniscule fraction of the NC plant’s available floorspace, no?

What I’d like to know is how green and self-supplying Apple’s energy supply for this might be.

Lee Dronick

What I?d like to know is how green and self-supplying Apple?s energy supply for this might be.

I was going to ask about how much energy it would take to run the place. But yeah, how green is the place. I would imagine that Apple built it to be mostly state of the art in that regard.

prl53

I checked out the Isilion website. Interestingly, their storage units work with Macs. Anyway, if Apple uses the IX-Q series, these are 2U or 4U rack-mounted devices holding at most 36 2TB 3.5” SATA-2 drives (IX-Q36000X/72000X are 4U). The new product will be different but the density might be the same. If you take a standard 42U cabinet, that would allow a maximum of 10 of these units or 720TB/rack. 12K/720=17 racks. The movies on the Isilion website don’t show them packed in a rack so I’d guess a more conservative estimate would be 24 or so. Add the controller racks and 30 wouldn’t be out of the question.

A typical rack is 24” OD so that’s only 60-ft of racks. Split in several rows and you really aren’t taking up that much floorspace.

Of course, I’m guessing on this so I could be way off but with large capacity drives like they’re using, it doesn’t take nearly as much rack space as the original XRAIDs did when they first came out with 160GB(?) drives.

One last edit. This doesn’t include any backup systems, network equipment, or any other support systems.

geoduck

So lets see
My first computer had 128k
30 years later my computer has a 500Mb drive
30 years from now my computer should have around 2000PB.
and I still won’t have enough space.

(forgive the quick back of envelope calculations)

Lee Dronick

30 years from now my computer should have around 2000PB.
and I still won?t have enough space.

Spot on!

cb50dc

how green and self-supplying Apple?s energy supply for this might be

Lots and lots of hamsters, on lots and lots of steroids.

cb50dc

30 years from now my computer should have around 2000PB.
and I still won?t have enough space.

Yeah, and since they’ll insert it behind our occipital lobe, they’ll have to work on reducing the size.

xmattingly

30 years later my computer has a 500Mb drive

Come on, geoduck - you have a little more than that. 500mb would barely get OS 9 installed… I’ll assume you meant “gb”. smile

It will be interesting to see what the future holds for storage, though; obviously mass storage (in the terabyte range) is dirt cheap for the average Joe these days. It may be that 30 years from now, all electronics devices are so (wirelessly) wired in that content providers will just host everything for us on giant server farms. Larry Ellison’s wet dream. :D

geoduck

I?ll assume you meant ?gb?.

Quite right. Gb.

Retro

In other news, traffic logs over the last half hour show sixty-four billion exabytes transferred off of and deleted from the Marathon.

akcarver

In other news, traffic logs over the last half hour show sixty-four billion exabytes transferred off of and deleted from the Marathon.

What?

Retro

Marathon is a classic Mac game that some of us played back in the late 90s.  My quote was a reference that probably doesn’t make sense to most people anymore.  Guess you had to be there.  smile

Marathon…Rebellion

UESCTerm 802.11 (remote override)    0547 08.25.2337

***INCOMING MESSAGE FROM LEELA**

I should be more lucid now, and apologize for my earlier
rambling.  Durandal’s meddling has run its course and I have
returned to normalcy.  Neither he nor the S’pht infiltrators
ever discovered my real location in the core, and though they
destroyed nearly all of my child processes, I myself am
unharmed.

Our most pressing concern is for the ship and her crew, but I
feel compelled to share with you that Durandal has left the
ship.  I can find him nowhere on our network, and traffic logs
over the last half hour show sixty-four billion exobytes
transferred off of and deleted from the Marathon.

I am only beginning to understand his motives for assisting us
against the Pfhor, and am terrified by their implications.

There is one last major incursion, and I feel the Pfhor are
breaking.  I will take you there.  We must persevere.

*** PREPARE FOR TRANSPORT ***

***END MESSAGE***

***JUMP PAD ACTIVATION INITIATION START***
***TRANSPORT WHEN READY***
PgUp/PgDn/Arrows to Scroll   Return/Enter to Acknowledge

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